My winter get-away to Southern California coincided perfectly with Seattle’s Snowmageddon. I eased out-of-town the day before the snows came and arrived in California the day after major rain storms soaked Los Angeles. Rain wiped away the smog revealing crisp outlines of the Hollywood Hills against a bright blue sky. I didn’t know how many opportunities I would have to sketch so I took a 6” X 4” pocket sketchbook. It’s a smaller size than I normally use but was handy and discreet in an unfamiliar setting.
Because I was staying within walking distance of Paramount Studios, I decided to go on a studio tour. Early getting a ticket, I trekked down Melrose Avenue to a coffee shop. Passing time with coffee while sketching, I imagined the man in the window seat was writing an Oscar- winning screen play and the shiny red Porsche parked by the curb belonged to me.
|Rear Window with Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart|
After the tour, I had lunch at Astro Burger where I sketched in their outdoor courtyard. The billboards and signs sent strong messages to the cars careening along Melrose Avenue.
|Inside the Astro Burger on Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles|
My theme of stars continued at LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, only this time they were art stars. Robert Rauschenberg: The 1/4 Mile, is a massive work on display in the Broad Pavilion. Assembled with found materials over a period of 17 years, the work is almost 1/4 mile in length. Another exhibition, Outliers and American Vanguard Art, is a stunning collection of over 250 works by trained and untrained artists. As an Urban Sketcher, it was fascinating to see drawings by self-taught artists hanging next to drawings by art super-stars. The drawings of self-taught master Martin Ramirez impressed me with their scale and content.
|Tony Smith sculpture Smoke inside the Ahmanson Building, LACMA|
Popular Larchmont Village has a pedestrian-friendly main street, unusual in the strip mall car culture of Los Angeles and perfect for sketching. I couldn’t find any empty public benches so I ate too much for the sake of the sketch. No rationalization necessary, we need to support establishments that let us use their spaces. I couldn’t help but notice what looked like an Urban Sketch on all the recycle bins in the village. Now that’s a good idea!
|Rooflines and Ice Creams in Larchmont Village, Los Angeles|
|Recycle Bins in Larchmont Village|